Netscape 6

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Netscape 6
Netscape classic logo.png
Developer(s) Netscape Communications Corporation
Initial release November 14, 2000; 14 years ago (2000-11-14)
Discontinued 6.2.3 / May 15, 2002; 12 years ago (2002-05-15)
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Internet suite
License Proprietary EULA

Netscape 6 was the name of Netscape Communications Corporation's proprietary cross-platform internet suite from versions 6.0–6.2.3. It superseded Netscape Communicator 4.8 (as the release of Netscape Communicator 5 was scrapped) and was replaced by the simply-named Netscape. Netscape 6, and later Netscape 7, were based on the Mozilla Application Suite, an open-source software package which at that time was simply known as Mozilla.

It consisted of the following major components:

History and development[edit]

In March 1998, Netscape split off most of the Communicator code and put it under an open source license. The project was dubbed Mozilla. It was estimated that turning the gutted source code (all proprietary elements had to be removed) into a new browser release might take a year, and so it was decided that the next release of the corporate Netscape browser, version 5.0, would be based on it. Netscape assigned its browser development engineers to help with the project.

Later that year it was quite evident that development on Mozilla was not proceeding quickly, so Netscape reassigned some of its engineers to a new Communicator 4.5 release. This had the result of redirecting part of the browser effort into a dead-end branch while Internet Explorer 5.0 was still building momentum.

The version 5 of the browser was skipped, at the time when Internet Explorer 5.0 had been available for a year and a half. There were plans to release an almost-ready version 5.0 based on the 4.x codebase, but this idea was scrapped. The Mozilla engineers decided to scrap the Communicator code and start over from scratch. All resources were bound to work on the Mozilla-based Netscape 6.0 release, which some Netscape employees still deem one of the bigger mistakes in the company's history.

The first public builds of Mozilla two years later were rather disappointing, with many mid-level PCs too slow to run the larger codebase (which used its own custom set of graphical user interface widgets and had a customizable UI built in a custom XML dialect known as XUL).

Versions 6.1 and 6.2, released in 2001, addressed some stability problems and were more respected, but still had a relatively small number of users and was facing new competition from Internet Explorer 6.0, released in the summer of 2001.

Release history[edit]

  • Netscape 6.0 – November 14, 2000 (based on Mozilla 0.6)
  • Netscape 6.01 – February 9, 2001 (based on Mozilla 0.6)
  • Netscape 6.1 – August 8, 2001 (based on Mozilla
  • Netscape 6.2 – October 30, 2001 (based on Mozilla
  • Netscape 6.2.1 – November 29, 2001 (based on Mozilla
  • Netscape 6.2.2 – March 19, 2002 (based on Mozilla
  • Netscape 6.2.3 – May 15, 2002 (based on Mozilla

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Netscape 5
(development suspended)
Netscape 6 Succeeded by
Netscape 7